Monday, December 20, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
|Photo by: Geoff Fear|
Sunday, December 12, 2010
You may recall that on November 8th of this year a KCBS/KCAL news helicopter captured video of a contrail off the coast of California. That video was played nationally on Fox News Channel and there was much speculation as to what the source of the contrail was.
The response from the Defense Department and NORAD was that what we saw was simply from a commercial jet and that there was no threat to the United States. But the FAA reports that there were no aircraft flying in the area at that time, on that evening and the neither the DOD or NORAD has identified the jet in question.
Several “experts”, including noted physicist Michio Kaku have made the rounds of the networks to explain how it was a jet and convince the public that any resemblance to a missile contrail was simply an optical illusion.
However, retired U.S. Air Force officers Lt. General Thomas McInerney and Brig. General Jim Cash say that without question the contrail seen just a few miles off the West Coast of the United States was a missile, likely launched from a Chinese missile submarine.
General Cash, who was assigned to NORAD, as a Command Director initially and later as the assistant Director of Operations for NORAD, knows how the system works. He says that in his “opinion there is absolutely no doubt that what was captured on video off the coast of California was a missile launch, was clearly observed by NORAD, assessed by a four-star General in minutes, and passed to the President immediately. That is the way the system works, and heads fall if there is a failure. This is one of the most important tenets of National Defense and its sole purpose of protecting the American people. Even the smallest failure in this system gets intense scrutiny at the highest level”.
General McInerney, who served as an Air Force Assistant Vice-Chief of Staff and has 35 years experience as a fighter pilot, was interviewed by Sean Hannity about the incident where he stated, “That is a missile – it’s launched from a submarine, and you can see it go through a correction course, and then it gives a very smooth trajectory meaning that the guidance system has now kicked in, it’s going at about a 45 degrees away from you that’s why you’re not seeing a lot of vertical velocity… I’ve watched that film 10 times, I’ve watched 15 other Trident films, SM 3… Standard missile threes, and T Lam launches…. I am absolutely certain that that is not an aircraft.” The plume, which is very clear in the video, would seem to indicate a single rocket motor and not a multi-engine commercial airliner or other jet.
If Generals Cash and McInerney, who between them have more than 60 years of experience in the United States Air Force, are correct then President Obama ordered that this event be covered up. It would also seem that the media has decided to play along, as we have not heard or seen anything more about this story since the first couple of days after the footage aired.
Considering the lack of response by the Obama Administration over the past 2 years to missile launches by Iran and North Korea, it is not surprising that the Chinese would have no fear of reprisal if they wanted to demonstrate their military capabilities to the world. It is hardly a secret that China has been patiently building a modern “blue water” navy. It was fairly well known that they possessed attack subs on par with the Russian Akula Class. It appears that U.S. military and civilian intelligence were less well informed about Chinese missile submarines.
What the American people witnessed on November 8th was very likely a warning and a message from the Chinese government- a literal shot across our bow. It was notice that, just as the United States Navy can put carrier battle groups and submarines in the waters that China considers it’s sphere of influence, they too can project naval power within range of our coastline.
Moreover, this incident was a message to the United States and our allies that, contrary to what we may have been led to believe, we are not the last superpower. You can be sure that South Korea and Taiwan got the message, as did President Obama and the U.S. Navy. This may explain why the recent joint naval exercises between the U.S. and South Korean navies in the South China Sea were moved further south, so as to avoid provoking the Chinese- not the North Koreans.
Last week President Obama announced that he and congressional Republicans had reached agreement on a compromise that would extend the “so-called” Bush tax cuts for everyone. This same agreement would also extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months, raise the “Death Tax” to 35%- with a $5 million exemption and temporarily reduce the payroll tax rate by 2%.
Initially most Republicans were in favor of the deal, calling it a victory for everyone, despite the fact that neither the extension of unemployment benefits nor the payroll tax reduction were not paid for and most conservatives oppose the estate tax, since it taxes the same income and assets twice. For their part, liberal Democrats were and are furious, publicly attacking President Obama calling him weak and accusing him of folding too quickly.
Obama reacted to the criticism from his base by lashing out at liberals, calling them sanctimonious and telling them that they could reject the deal and have the “satisfaction of their purist position and no victories for the American people”.
Meanwhile, congressional Democrats like Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York attacked President Obama calling him the “negotiator-in-chief,” not the “leader of our country.” Others like self-described Socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders threatened to filibuster the bill after saying that Obama "effed up" by agreeing to the deal.
President Obama spent most of the week defending the deal in the media, holding 3 news conferences. He also dispatched Vice-President Joe Biden to Capitol Hill to convince Democrat members of the House and Senate to vote for the tax compromise. Biden told Democrats this was the best deal they could get and to take it or leave it.
Having made no headway in bringing his party around, and facing increasing attacks from his base, Obama took the extraordinary step of inviting former-President Bill Clinton to the White House to discuss the situation and ask for advice on how to proceed from a man who famously found himself with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress after the 1993 mid-term elections.
This move was a mixed bag for the current president. On the one hand Clinton said that he thought the deal Obama struck with Republicans was a good one and the best he was going to get in the current political climate. On the other hand a joint press conference with Clinton- which Obama left early, leaving Clinton alone in the White House Press Room- showed Obama to be weak, inexperienced and clearly over his head compared to the former-president. It also created a bizarre sense of déjà vu for many people, as Clinton continued to speak and take questions for nearly 30 minutes after Obama’s departure.
In addition, the news conference, when taken with the defiant rhetoric of outgoing House Speaker Pelosi made it apparent that political novice Obama, unlike most sitting presidents, is not the leader of his political party.
As if Obama didn’t have enough problems it now appears that many Republicans, having had time to more closely examine the deal- which is not paid for, are also opposed to it. This may have something to do with the fact that the Senate bill being floated by Majority Leader Harry Reid is filled with “sweeteners” intended to garner Democrat votes. Things like extensions of subsidies for windmills, bio-diesel and ethanol, as well as, tax credits for rum producers in Puerto Rico- all without any offsetting spending cuts- have ballooned the cost of the bill and caused many congressional Republicans and conservative commentators to reject the deal.
Conservative Charles Krauthammer wrote an article for the Washington Post on Friday, which President Clinton referenced in his press conference, where he says, “Barack Obama won the great tax-cut showdown of 2010 - and House Democrats don't have a clue that he did”. Krauthammer points out that what Obama actually has gotten is, “the biggest stimulus in American history, larger than his $814 billion 2009 stimulus package”.
There are now many Republicans, especially those that will be sworn in on January 5th, that believe it would be better to let the current tax rates expire on January 1st and then retroactively cut them in the 112th Congress when they take power.
The president accused Republicans of holding tax cuts for the middle-class hostage, saying: "We all know that the middle-class tax cuts were being held hostage to the high-end tax cuts. It's tempting to not negotiate with ‘hostage takers,' unless the hostage gets harmed. In this case the hostage was the American people." This statement is disturbing both because he compares Republicans standing on principle to “hostage takers” and because it might give actual terrorist hostage takers- like Al Qaeda or the Taliban- the idea that if they threaten to harm or kill their hostages Obama might negotiate with them.
But the reality is Obama and the Democrats got a much better deal this week, at least from their perspective, than they will ever get next year- even if they’re too blinded by their ideology to realize it. If the lunatic-left of the Democrat Party attempts to push what Krauthammer calls “Stimulus II” through the lame duck session of Congress this month, they will fail because not enough members of their own caucus are onboard. Then they will be dealt a huge political defeat in January as Republicans pass tax cuts for everyone, without an expiration date.
President Obama, every House Democrat and the 2/3 of Senate Democrats running for reelection in 2012 will be forced to not only defend their NO votes on cutting taxes, but they will actually have to run on the raising taxes in 2 years.
What started out as a botched deal, agreed to by Republicans, that could have been a huge political trap for the GOP has turned into a potentially major political fiasco for the president, instigated by the far left ideologues in the Democrat Party. Of course this assumes that the Republican leadership doesn’t cave and accept the pork-laden bill currently being presented as a compromise by Obama.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Airing at 3:00am Eastern- Monday thru Friday- on the Fox News Channel, ‘Red Eye’ with Greg Gutfeld takes the news/round table discussion format to new levels of funny. This isn’t fake news like ‘The Daily Show’; it’s the news with a comic, acerbic attitude and usually a conservative point of view.
Greg Gutfeld was once an editor of fitness and men’s magazines and a contributor to the Huffington Post. Now he hosts one Fox News Channel’s most popular and innovative programs, along with his “disgusting” sidekick Bill Schulz and ombudsman “TV’s” Andy Levy- A U.S. Army Veteran who served on the DMZ in Korea.
Each episode of ‘Red Eye’ opens with Greg saying something like “Welcome to Red Eye. It’s like Enter the Dragon. If by dragon you mean gerbil.” He then throws to Andy for the Pre-Game Report, where Levy teases the stories that will be covered on that night’s broadcast. Next Gutfeld introduces Bill, their “New York Times Correspondent” known as Pinch (a talking newspaper- voiced by Schulz), and then that evening's three guests -- very often Fox News personalities like John Gibson, Patti Ann Brown and Kimberly Guilfoyle -- or other popular personalities like Ann Coulter, S.E. Cupp and Mike Baker. Additionally, the audience can also expect to be entertained by one of the many talented comedians Red Eye often throws into the mix- like Ed Norton or Michelle Collins.
On ‘Red Eye’ even the guest introductions are racy and hilarious with such classics as, “I’m here with Fox News Channel anchor Patti Ann Browne. She’s so hot and bubbly, that Jacuzzis relax in her.” Or “I’m here with former CIA operative Mike Baker. If brains were a cheese log, I’d pick at his nuts.” And of course who could forget… “Rebecca Gomez Fox News business correspondent, if cuteness were karaoke I’d get drunk and then do her.”
The panel discusses many current news stories with a humorous and sarcastic slant, playing effectively off of one another and making news items ranging from the deadly serious to the ridiculously absurd hysterically funny.
The show makes great use of You Tube videos -- often featuring men dressed as animals, cute animals themselves and still more men in tight leotards doing aerobics.
One of the highlights of the program is the Gregalogue, Greg’s commentary on some story or issue in the news. His insightful, sardonic and fearless screeds are a fan favorite that used to end with his signature signoff, “And if you disagree with me, you’re worse than Hitler”, but nowadays tend to close with something like, “And if you disagree with me, you’re a racist, homophobic, something-phobe”. These commentaries can be read at Gutfeld’s blog: The Daily Gut.
At the midway point, Greg hands it over to Andy Levy for The Halftime Report, where Levy acts as the ombudsman and lets the panel know if they’ve “gotten anything wrong so far”- sometimes making legitimate corrections to factual mistakes, sometimes making fun of slips of the tongue. At this time, Andy also adds his two cents on some of the stories that have been covered in the front half of the program.
The back half of the show may consist of additional stories, viewers' recorded calls to Greg’s direct phone line, a segment where Greg's mother drops by via telephone to offer her opinions or a new segment known as “Stories We Sort of Liked But Not Enough to Include Earlier in the Show But Still Wanted to Talk About So Let's Really Quickly Do Them Now!”- Essentially a lightning round of quick comments on other stories.
To close the program, Greg once again throws it to Andy Levy for the The Post-Game Wrap Up, the segment where Andy gives the guests an opportunity to plug their books, CDs, DVDs or upcoming appearances.
Remarkably, this hybrid of news and comedy earns better ratings in the key demographics than MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNN’s primetime line up, thanks in part to TiVo and DVR.
Red Eye has also propelled Greg Gutfeld into the position of commentator on other Fox News programs. He makes weekly appearances on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ on Fridays and ‘Fox News Watch’ on Saturdays. He’s also been a frequent member of Sean Hannity’s “Great American Panel”.
My co-host Daria DiGiovanni and I have had the pleasure of interviewing Greg, Andy and Bill on my BlogTalkRadio program ‘Conservative Republican Forum’, where among other things, we've gotten some insights into not only into what it takes to produce ‘Red Eye’ but also into their political leanings.
We have also hosted several of their regular guests including: S.E. Cupp, Mike Baker and Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter on CRF -- even snagging an interview with conservative author Michelle Malkin before she appeared on ‘Red Eye’.
I wouldn’t recommend that you get all your news from ‘Red Eye’. But if you have a sense of humor and want to supplement your daily dose of hard news and commentary with something innovative, clever and funny, I highly recommend watching (or maybe DVR-ing then watching) ‘Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld’, Monday thru Friday at 3:00am ET.